It’s Time for A Name Change!

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee…And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear…And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.”

                                – Genesis 17:1-5,15-17,19-22
How many of us can honestly say that we know and understand both the meaning and significance of our names?  I know, for the majority of us we did not have any control over the names we have.  They were picked out and given to us at birth.  Some of our names have some sort of special meaning to them, while others simply don’t know where their parents even came up with such a name in the first place.  Some parents actually sit and thoroughly research potential names for their kids, and they pick the ones that closely resemble the kind of individual they imagine their child to be.  For my wife and I, that is exactly what was done.  Truth be told, we looked at the meaning of so many names to the point where I was no longer interested in name picking and left it for her to do on her own.  Then, once she had one in mind she would come and present it to me for either a “yay” or “nay” on my behalf.  However, after studying for this week’s article I have come to this conclusion:  It does not matter how beautiful your child’s name is that you have picked for them or how special or wonderful the meaning is behind said name.  When it comes to fulfilling the call, plan, and will of God for their lives, if their names are not conducive to the fulfillment and manifestation of His work, then It’s Time for a Name Change!
Our forefather, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, had to experience this for themselves.  When God first called them, their names were Abram and Sarai, and they were living amongst all their relatives in the land.  God shows up and reveals to Abram that He has a plan for his life.  The interesting thing was that in order for Abram to begin to experience the will of God for his life, he had to first get away from his kinfolk and everything he has known for so long.  Why is this interesting?  It’s interesting due to the fact that God didn’t want him to stay in a place he had known his entire life, but He required Abram to get away from it.  Watch this.  In other words, I believe God was saying that there is a plan for you but I don’t want or need you to be around familiarity, comfortability, or similarity.  What I have is for you and you alone, so I don’t want anyone around you attempting to reconfigure that which I have transfigured (familiarity).  In addition, my plan is going to require you to come out of what you’re used to so that you can walk into what you’re called to, and this cannot be accomplished in your comfort zone (comfortability).  Finally, when it’s all said and done there will be a unique difference in you that distinguishes you from the rest; therefore, I brought and kept you out so that you have nothing to identify with except that which I have spoken to you (similarity).  Basically, God was preparing everything about Abram to change and He didn’t want him to have any resemblance or connection to that which was.
However, there was a leech in the midst.  Someone who attached themselves to something or someone else with the sole purpose of attempting to glean that which was not intended for them.  This person has the ability to hide in plain sight with little notice as to their methods, all the while they are slowly sucking and draining your essence from you.  Y’all know who I’m talking about.  His name was Lot.  Lot was not supposed to even be on the trip, yet he managed to swindle his way onto it.  Watch this.  How do I know Lot was a leech?  As Abram got blessed and increased, so did Lot.  As Abram saw God’s favor being revealed in his life, so did Lot.  However, the tell tell sign that Lot was a leech is in the way he viewed things.  When Abram finally realized that there was too much possessions between the two of them and as a means of not creating conflict among them, he told Lot choose which way you will go and I will go the other.  Well, Lot chose the land that looked befitting for continued growth of his possessions, thus causing Abram to choose the desert place.  Shout cue on the way.  What Lot didn’t know was this:  The blessings didn’t come because of the land, but it was because of the man.  Abram had God’s blessing on his life which caused blessings to come towards him.  That’s why people look at you and wonder “how can he or she be living like this, but they still have the ability to get X, Y, and Z?”  Tell them, my blessing is not in my stuff but it’s on me!  You Missed It!  It will register later.
Question:  Is there a “Lot” in your midst?  Is there a person whom you were supposed to come out from among in your courts?  Better yet, is there a leech in your ranks that is slowly but surely sucking, draining, and accumulating their nutrients for sustained life at the expense of your tapping into God’s purpose for your life?  You have to locate the breach in the system and part ways with it if you are going to have what God says you can have or be who God says you shall be.  That’s what Abram had to do with his nephew, Lot, and that is also what you’re going to have to do with your Lot(s).  However, that wasn’t the only thing that was slowing Abram down.  There’s more “Lots” in his midst.  Somebody say, Who child?  Come here Haggar and Ismael!  You remember those two, don’t you?  Haggar was the “Lot” that came about after Abram and Sarai hadn’t bore any fruit as a result of their relations.  So, Sarai decided to give her maid to Abram, and Abram decided to receive said maid.  Well, after the night of fun in comes another “Lot” by the name of Ismael.  Now, Ismael was not a regular “Lot,” but he was a peculiar version of him.  Why?  This “Lot” now has sonship or heritage, thereby attaching him to you (not by any doing of his own but out of his father’s, mother’s, and step-mother’s doing).
In my opinion, Haggar was the baddest of the baddest of “Lot’s.”  Why?  This “Lot” did not simply tag alone, but it was one that was created as a result of them trying to assist and speed up the plan of God for their lives.  Once you have gone, created, and given birth to a “Lot” for yourself, there is no abandonment or sending away your self-inflicted, self-conceived, and self-perceived “Lot.”  No ma’am and No sir!  You now have to take care of and resolve the issue of the “Lot” you created before God can give you the “Issac” he predestined you to have.  Don’t believe me, ask Haggar.  She tried to run away with the boy, but God intervened and told her to go back and stay there.  Not only did he tell her to go back, but he reassured her that the son that she bore unto Abram will not be helpless or homeless, but his father (Abram) will provide for him or take care of him.  Can I make another suggestion?  That’s probably why it took 13 years before Abram heard anything else from God, but that’s neither here nor there.
Finally, we arrive at the Name Change point.  It has now been 13 years since Abram has heard anything from God.  I imagine that at this point somebody’s faith may have been a little shaken, somebody’s belief level may not be what it once was, and somebody’s soldiers were not what they used to be.  How do I know this?  When God shows up and reveals the ultimate purpose and timing for Abram and Sarai to conceive and receive the birth of their promised seed (Isaac), Abram was 99 years old and Sarai was 89/90 years old.  So, why did He change their names?  Can I make my final suggestion?  Abraham’s laughter pointed to the fact that he wasn’t convinced that he would be able to supply the seed, let alone Sarah bear the seed because of their age.  However, notice when God changed their names He also gave them the meanings of their new names.  In other words, He purposed it so that whenever they heard their name being called it would ignite and stir the faith within them that they have a promise from God.  Shout cue on the way!  The name change wasn’t about Him simply rebirthing them, but it was about God rebranding them in the fashion of what He has already positioned and purposed them to demonstrate.  Basically, God was realigning their identity to resemble the “Issac” (promises of God) which He has already spoken and declared for them instead of the “Lot” (phonies portraying themselves as being from God) they were faced with.  You missed it!
You have been faced with some “Lots” in your life that has you believing things about your self that you shouldn’t be.  Shout Lord Change My Name!  Change my name from what my past is trying to dictate concerning my future.  Change my name from being the victim to the victor, from being the borrower to the lender, from being the broken to being whole, from sickness to healed, In Jesus Name!  Shout Lord Change My Name!  Change my name concerning the generational curses that has plagued my family for so many years.  No longer do I want to be called by poor, but wealthy.  No longer do I want to be called by being promiscuous, but wholesome.  No longer do I desire to identify with the disease(s), but the one possessing the blessing of the Lord.  Shout Lord Change My Name!  Change my name concerning the things of my past, which attempt to determine who I am.  I do not desire to be a wicked or evil person, but the righteous of God.  I don’t desire my own fictitious reality of being right in my own deeds, but I desire the righteousness of God.  Change my name oh God, Change It!
I’m going higher!  Shout Lord Change My Name! Lord change my name from Negative Nancy and Negating Nathan to Positive Peter and Powerful Paul.  Not saying I desire to be them; however, I do desire to be like them as they were with their walk with Jesus.   Shout Lord Change My Name! Change my name through and through to make my life resemble more of you.  Change my name to my core, so that the things I once were familiar with I am no longer looking for.  No longer do I want to be a drunk but a doer of your will.  No longer do I want to be a smoker, but a chaser of the glory smoke that fills the temple.  Change my name, Lord!  Change my name, Lord!  I’m reminded of an old song that says, “A wonderful change has come over me.  He washed away all my sins, and made me whole (Tramine Hawkins).”  Somebody said they don’t know that one.  Okay, maybe you know this onez. “Change me oh God, make me more like you!  Change me oh God, walk me through and through (Tamala Mann).”
At the end of it all, the purpose is not so that you walk around with your past and/or present haunting you and dictating your future.  However, it is so that you can begin to see yourself as God sees you.  So, look around about yourself and go on a mission or journey to discover every “Lot” that is in your life.  Search high and low, near and far, narrow and wide and within yourself.  Turn your back on those things.  When you discover it, send it or them on their way, then look up to heaven and Shout Lord Change My Name! Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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